smartphone round robin

We saved the best (and penultimate) episode of our Smartphone Round Robin mini-podcasts for last — Windows Mobile, baby! Once again hosted by our pal Mickey Papillon of The Cell Phone Junkie, all your favorite Smartphone Experts editors talk about what they saw during our time together. Listen in below!

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Of all the other smartphones and all the other operating systems we've looked at over the course of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, none is as similar to Windows Mobile as Android. That's a little odd, as Windows Mobile at its core is rapidly aging, and Android is one of the newest players of the bunch. But it's true.

With Windows Mobile you get a high customizable operating system, with myriad options available to manufacturers, carriers, modders and end-users. We're constantly preaching the benefit of custom ROMs, chopped up from official releases and recompiled into smaller, faster packages. Android? Same thing. It's available on most major carriers, in several form factors (though front-facing QWERTY keyboards haven't really materialized), and with multiple versions of the operating system.

So is Android merely Windows Mobile's brother by another mother? Will its rapidly rising market share (and mind share) swallow up Windows Mobile and everyone else in its way? Let's talk about that a little after the break.

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OK, that's singularly the weirdest headline I've every written. But it's true. Our fearless leader is championing Palm's webOS in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, and its our job (you guys think I'm doing this by myself?) to teach him a thing or three about the latest in Windows Mobile.

You saw our sit-down during which Dieter took a look at the Touch Pro 2 and HD2, right? And you've been to the forums to answer some of his questions about the latest and greatest, right? And you know that anytime you do so you're entered to win a WinMo smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000), right?

C'mon. Let's show the boss the error of his webOS-lovin' ways, shall we?

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What do you get when you shove an HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2 into the hands of a longtime Android user? Besides a pair of hands that tremble under that much power, you get Casey Chan (of AndroidCentral fame) in the opening round of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin. Casey gets a look at how HTC Sense and TouchFLO 3D stand up to stock the Android OS, as well as on HTC Android fare. Check out the fun here.

But even better than that is the discussion Casey's started in our forums. He has questions, and you guys have answers. And remember that every time you post in a Round Robin thread (either here or at one of our sister sites), you're entered to win a Windows phone from us, worth up to $1,000. Cause we're givers.

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What do you get when you put the best of Windows Mobile into a self-proclaimed BlackBerry addict? You get the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, of course. And this week, CrackBerry Kevin's putting down the front-facing QWERTY and picking up the HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2.

If you haven't already, check out his hands-on video at CrackBerry.com. And dive into the WME Forums and lend him a hand. (And while you're at it, check out my thread at The iPhone Blog as I tackle that monster this week.) Remember: Anytime you post in an official Smartphone Round Robin thread, you're entered to win a smartphone (worth up to $1,000) from that site. Get to it!

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"Wow, that's a lot of apps." Those were some of the first words out of my mouth when I sat down to take a look at the iPhone. You know, the platform that has single-handedly killed off every other smartphone known to -- oh, wait. We're all still here? Good.

So, to get the discussion going, I've started a thread in The iPhone Blog's forums. And I expect each and every one of you go post in it. Often. Oh, and each time you do, you have a chance to win a smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000). Plus there's the whole thing about keeping the Windows Mobile end up, and that's important, too.

Hit up the video after the break, where Rene Ritchie, editor at The iPhone Blog, learns me a thing or three about the iPhone. And be sure to check out all the other goings on in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin.

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Myriad metaphors come to mind when thinking about Palm and Microsoft. David and Goliath. A young upstart fighter who took a couple of punches, versus an aging but still powerful opponent. A young executive overtaking the old man in the corner office. Take your pick.

In the past year, Palm announced and delivered on a new (and some say revolutionary) operating system and a pair of new phones. Microsoft announced and delivered another iteration of its operating system, which has found itself on a number of new devices. Their stories parallel each other, though many say the companies and their platforms are traveling in opposite directions.

After the break, we go in-depth with Palm's webOS from a Windows Mobile perspective, Smartphone Round Robin-style.

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As it did the year before, the Smartphone Round Robin needed to go into overtime again this time around -- but we're finished now!  If you haven't been following along, here's what you missed:  Each of the editors of our five Smartphone Experts sites swapped phones for a week or so, reviewing and leanring what it's like to wear another smarphone user's shoes.  The result is the entire series of articles you see linked on this handy page, the Smartphone Round Robin of 2008.

What will you learn there?  You'll learn that there was no single smartphone that 'won' the Round Robin -- but that's by design.  There's no perfect smartphone out there, but there just might be the perfect smartphone to fit your needs.  If you're looking to get a new smartphone soon, think about what you need it do to and then hit up these articles -- you'll find that depending on what each of us care about, we'll give you a useful perspective on whether a given smartphone matches up. 

Actually, we explain it all pretty well on this page. Oh, yeah, one more thing, we are giving away fabulous prizes:

Find out who the winners are, after the break!

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The Smartphone Round Robin took quite the unexpected hiatus -- I've been awfully busy these past few weeks and truth be told it was Windows Mobile itself that helped me manage my increasingly hectic worklife. In case you missed it, here's my Video of the Fuze, including some details on how I've decided not to use TouchFlo 3D.  Now that I'm back on Windows Mobile, it's time to explain why it's a great OS. Although the Round Robin contest is now over (we'll announce the winners tomorrow!), I'm betting you all will have plenty to say about this year's take on WM.

So read on!

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Smartphone Round Robin Round Table 2

It happened live last Tuesday, but you can listen in to the (slightly foreshortened) version in our podcast feed: the 2nd (and last) Smartphone Round Robin Rount Table. Join Casey, Kevin, Rene, and Dieter as we discuss the final two devices in our Smartphone Round Robin: the T-Mobile G1 and the the HTC Fuze. Plus, we answer your questions live -- well, it was live then, so forgive the slightly worse-than-usual sound quality.

Naturally, this is an official Round Robin post, every day you make an entry here qualifies you for a chance to win a Fuze and more. Full details here

Music: Our Slanted Voices by DoKashiteru

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Tonight at 8pm Eastern, get yourself away from your families and point your browser at http://www.imore.com/live. As we did two weeks ago, we're recording another Smartphone Round Robin Roundtable podcast. This time, though, we'll be LIVE. We'll be rounding out our smartphone discussion, focusing on the T-Mobile G1 and the Fuze, then talking about the Round Robin overall.

Best part, though, is we'll have a chat going where you can chime in, talk to each other, and ask us questions -- which we'll answer LIVE towards the end of the show. We've let UStream know that we'll be hitting their service hard, so head on over and take a listen!

Again, that's 8pm Eastern tonight at http://www.imore.com/live.

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Android Central Reviews the HTC Fuze

Our pal Casey has put in his Smartphone Round Robin 2 cents on the HTC Fuze and it's definitely worth a read. He takes the goal of looking at a device through the eyes of an Android User pretty seriously and the result is a fair and interesting impression of what Windows Mobile looks like to a certain set of user: namely, the sort of user who is a little savvy about smartphones but not about to get into the sort of registry edits that sometimes get us excited.

In other words -- he likes TouchFlo 3D on the Fuze for new users, Windows Mobile for power users, but isn't so sure that the Fuze would work well for the middle-of-the-road folks the G1 appeals to. In that sense he might not be too far off -- I've seen brand-new smartphone users positively giddy over TouchFLO 3D.

Anyhow, it's one more perspective on the cognitive dissonance between the skins we put on top of Windows Mobile and the standard Windows Mobile UI -- go check it out and comment there for your chance at a G1. Or comment here for a chance at getting a Fuze of your own. Or -- why not -- both!.

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I'm gonna be honest here, folks, this is a tough one for me. My goal in the Smartphone Round Robin is to look at another platform from a WinMo perspective. Of course, the Treo Pro runs Windows Mobile, so it's a pickle. Not to mention that WMExperts has already:

What to do? Well, for one, I ought to explain why we went with the Treo Pro instead of the Centro. Find that in the video above, where you'll find that I'm eschewing our traditional Round Robin format and replacing it with a trip down Treo memory lane. The goal: I'm trying to work my way towards the full review later this week, when I'll examine what makes a Treo a Treo and how exactly that design philosophy can jive with Windows Mobile.

It's just a start for today, the video above poses the questions but doesn't provide the answers. It certainly feels like there's a "Treo-ness" up there in the world of Platonic ideals that applies to Palm's products more so than it does to others. It has something to do with the fact that Treos seem to hit all your standard smartphone functions at 75% efficiency but none of them at 100%, whereas most smartphones will give you 90% at one feature but only 50% at the rest.

Rather than show you all of my cards now, I'm hoping y'all can take advantage of the Smartphone Round Robin contest and comment on this post with your feedback. What makes a Treo a Treo and how can Palm find a way to not become 'just another Windows Mobile manufacturer?' Who knows, maybe your answer to that question will net your the HTC Fuze and the Redfly that Celio has generously sponsored for a lucky reader. (I haven't really hit on it yet (I will), but stuff like the Redfly is a big reason I'm a fan of Windows Mobile).

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